Cambridge continues to lead the way as the UK’s fastest growing economy

16/04/2018

Cambridge experienced the fastest economic growth of any city in the UK at the end of last year, according to a new report which also predicts big things for the university town, its famous rival Oxford and Milton Keynes across the next decade.

Cambridge’s economy grew by 2.0% in Q4 2017, a result which meant the city finished top of the UK Powerhouse league table for the third time in the calendar year.

The UK Powerhouse study is produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and provides an estimate of GVA* growth and job creation within 45 of the UK’s largest cities 12 months ahead of the Government’s official figures.

Published this month, the latest report revealed that Cambridge’s economy grew by 2.0% in Q4 2017, a result which meant the city finished top of the UK Powerhouse league table for the third time in the calendar year.

The city’s university town rival Oxford was found to have the third fastest growing economy across the same period with year-on-year GVA growth rate of 1.7%, while Milton Keynes trailed behind with a rate of 1.3%.

Looking ahead, the report predicted that these locations are set to dominate for years to come in terms of economic growth, with all three of them expected to take the top spots for GVA growth in Q4 2018.

Furthermore, Milton Keynes is predicted to take the spot for GVA growth in Q4 2028, with Cambridge and Oxford trailing closely behind in 3rd and 4th respectively. Each area is also expected to enjoy healthy employment growth and be among the top 20 by the end of 2028.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Victoria Brackett, CEO of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services division, said: “The latest figures clearly show that the so-called corridor of these three cities is expected to enjoy impressive levels of growth in both the near and long-term future.

“The reasons behind Cambridge’s persistent high growth level are thought to include its university’s continued work to support innovation in the city, as well as how its close proximity to London means businesses can build their operations in the area while still having easy access to the capital.

“Furthermore, Milton Keynes benefits from its central position in the corridor and is also known to have had the fourth highest average weekly workplace earnings of any city in the UK last year – something which will no doubt draw many people to the area.”

* Gross value added – the total value of goods and services produced.

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